Monday, June 3, 2013

It's A Fact: ADD and Depression

Do you remember these short Kids In The Hall sketches?  The ones with the adorable red headed girl who runs up to the camera and tells us "It's a fact!" then goes on to reveal something silly.

This is my favorite one:

Kids In The Hall _ Fact 3 by hulu

So, I thought I'd try it myself:

Okay, it's not quite as funny as KITH, I admit, but you do get to see me without make-up, with a wet head, bare feet and jiggling through my living room.

I found that statistic on my go-to site for all things ADD, ADDitude.  The reason I went to ADDitude to look up ADD and depression is because, friends, I have sunk in a hole.  I'm resurfacing, so don't worry.  But this happens a lot to folks like me when one stressful thing piles on top of another worrisome thing piles on top of another bit of bad news.  But that's not the worst of it.  That is simply the external workings.  The situations we can't avoid, which in my case included my dad's diverticulitis, my family's out-of-control schedule, and the possible demise of my Shiny Object School project (more on that soon).  What then happened occurred only inside the dark chambers of my brain.  I began doubting my decision to write and not work, to earn an MFA in writing, to succeed at this writing life.  I began looking for work and applying for a few positions, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it does shoot this whole "I'm going to try to write for a career" thing in the big toe.

Soon, my head was swarming with nasty furies, all yelling at me to get a job and get off of their lawn.  I could actually feel them buzzing in between my ears.  It felt like my brain was inflamed.  Perhaps it was.

It's a fact!  Folks with ADD tend to get overwhelmed with decisions (should we just knock down the damn garage?) then paralyzed by the details, which quickly spin out of control (how on earth can we afford to knock it down and rebuild?  I need to get a job so we can afford to knock it down and rebuild!  I don't think I want to teach adjunct right now, because it's so time-intensive and exhausting!  Maybe I could really delve into querying editors and pitching?  Oh my god, I need to make money now!  I have almost two master's degrees and am unhireable!).  Thud.  That's me hitting a wall.

Fortunately, my husband with ADD doesn't struggle with anxiety and depression.  He doesn't spin downward like I do -- and frankly, this hasn't happened in a year -- ONE WHOLE YEAR! -- so I'm doing considerably better!  He has other issues, but that's for him to write about in his own blog.  Fortunately, he gets my feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and being overwhelmed without dwelling in them himself.  So he talked me through it and hugged me.  My friend Cari suggested I create a mental garbage can to toss the negative thoughts.  I remembered I had a bottle of Wellbutrin and took one this morning.  Take that stupid depression.  I'm tossing you in a garbage can and erasing you with medication!

I do take solace knowing that this is something with which a lot of adults with ADD struggle.  I take comfort knowing that I am surrounded by friends and family who care.  I am humbled by success and motivated by rejection.  And I turn to resources, like my friend Julie's post on She Writes - a post that I'm going to bookmark to remind myself that choosing a writer's life is not easy, it doesn't make sense to most people who are bankers and lawyers and doctors (unless they write on the side!), and that I'm not doing it to make big bucks.